Early voting by mail, in-person begins Wednesday for Arizonans
PHOENIX — Wednesday marks the beginning of early voting in Arizona with ballots being mailed out and sites opening for in-person voting.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said she anticipates about 90% of Arizona voters will vote early this election. In the August primary election, 88% of voters cast their ballots early and most did so by mail.
Hobbs recommends voters send back their ballot-by-mail no later than Oct. 27.
“We do recommend that if you’re able to send your ballot earlier to do that as soon as possible just to ensure that it does get there on time,” Hobbs said. “And if there is a problem, there’s time to correct that.”
Voters can also return their ballot to any voting location or secure ballot-drop box in their county by 7 p.m. on Nov. 3.
In Maricopa County, more than 2 million voters have requested a mail-in ballot.
“Voters can expect to receive them in their mail boxes within three days to a week, depending on where you live in the county,” Maricopa County Elections Department Communication Director Megan Gilbertson said.
“We also are going to open seven vote centers that are scattered throughout the county.”
There are no assigned locations for voting in Maricopa County, so voters can cast their ballot or drop off their mail-in ballot at any of the vote centers.
“They’ll be open on evenings and weekends,” Gilbertson said. “So you can find one on your way home from work or when you’re going to the grocery store – whatever works in your schedule.”
Voters in Arizona will also have additional time to register to vote. On Monday, a federal judge ruled that the state’s voter registration deadline to participate in the November election would be extended to Oct. 23 to allow more residents to register to vote.
The original voter registration deadline was Monday.
To cast a ballot in person, voters will need a state-issued ID or two forms of identification with their name and address.
Gilbertson said safety protocols are in place at the vote centers to ensure poll workers and voters are protected from COVID-19.
“If you do go vote in person, you’ll see large physically distant spaces where each check-in station is going to be 6 feet apart,” Gilbertson said. “Our poll workers are going to be wearing masks, gloves and face shields, and they’ll be frequently cleaning those high-touch surfaces.”
She added masks and gloves will also be available for voters who need them.